A Letter to Julian Tuwim

In acknowledgement of his support for The Cinnamon Shops

 

Dear, honourable sir!

Thank you. I wasn’t expecting that, though in my heart of hearts I postulated, zealously demanded your resonance. Even deep in the passion and doggedness of my book, that old yearning was there. And today, you have quelled it in me. You have sated it, filled it to the brim. Such fulfilment!
    It was a little belated — through no fault of yours.
    I was in the hall that time, years ago, when you came to Drohobycz. Filled with gloomy adoration, I regarded you with spite and vindictiveness. Ancient history. Then, in my helpless admiration, some of your poems reduced me to despair. In my re-readings of them, they were aching — rolling that heavy boulder of admiration uphill, which upon attaining the summit, unable to hold on to those steep slopes of rapture, tumbled into the depths. They annihilated me, and at the same time made me ecstatic, an inkling of the triumphal and superhuman powers that man, set free and auspicious, will at some time have at his disposal. At that time I bore with me a certain legend about a ‘brilliant epoch’, supposedly located at some time in my life, although not in any calendar year — elevated above chronology, an epoch in which all things breathed the brilliance of holy colours, and the whole sky was absorbed in a single sigh, like a gulp of pure ultramarine.
    It never really was. But in your poems it was made real, as vivid as a peacock-eye steeped in atropine and garishly mascaraed. It was, like a riotous nest of hummingbirds…
    You taught me that every state of the soul, pursued far enough into its depths, leads one through the straits and channels of the word — into mythology. Not into the congealed mythology of people and stories, but into that which under the surface layer roars in our blood, which entwines in the depths of phylogenesis, branches into the metaphysical night.
    In those mythologogical depths, surely sir, you have a pact with Satan. Here, your poems become transcendent, simply immeasurable as craftsmanship, surpassing all measure of accomplishments.
    Today, I am enjoying a great and triumphal moment. The spell is broken, and what I have gathered up in admiration, exalted in paoxysms of rapture, alien until now and turned against me — now confirms and accepts me. I thank you.

Bruno Schulz

Drohobycz, 26th January, 1934
ulica Floriańska 10